Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Jealous much?

     I went to see Divergent this past weekend and am currently reading the series it was based off of. I planned on waiting to read it until after I had finished writing Enlightened but it was driving me crazy not knowing any more. Anyway, I loved the movie but there is that one part at the beginning that makes my green-eyed monster rear her ugly head. You don't know which part I'm talking about? Funny- it's the same part that drove me batty in Twilight (and all the sequels- I mean sagas), the eight Harry Potter films, both of the Hunger Games, and so on and so forth. Still don't know what I'm talking about? It's simple really. Six simple words. Based on the novel written by.
     Every single time I see those words I wonder how that particular author must feel seeing his or her name up on the silver screen. Are they happy with the finished product? Do they wish the screenwriters would have stuck closer to the book? Do they think the casting director made the best choices for the actors to play their characters? Are they proud? Would they do it again? The questions keep coming until well after the credits have rolled. But only one question really matters to me- Will I ever see Based on the novel written by Gretchen Roberts on a movie screen?
     The odds of any book I pen making to the big screen is so slim that I have a better chance at winning the lottery while being attacked by a shark and surviving. A girl can dream though. When JK Rowling started writing about a young wizard going away to a magical boarding school could she have ever even begin to dream about the world she created let alone the one that was brought to life in eight feature films? She was probably in my shoes. So many authors have filled my same shoes so I guess I have some amazing company, the only difference is that somewhere along the line their entire life was changed by an offer and I am still awaiting mine, one that may never come.
     Would it be terrible if it never comes? In some ways yes but if I'm truly honest, no. My life would not end, I will still be happy, I will continue to write, my friends and family will not stop loving me, and my stories would still be available in the written form. However, I would love to see a beautiful cast bring Jillian, Eden, Lyla, Declan, Trajen, and even Heather to life, to hear the score, to feel the emotions a director's interpretation would evoke, to see if others would see what I saw in my twisty head.  I can't begin to tell you how amazing that would be.
     But what if they got it wrong? What if I hated the lead actress or the guy who played Trajen wasn't hot enough? Remember the uproar when they announced Rob Pattinson was playing Edward? Fangirls practically revolted and by the by- he was great but I still say he was hotter in Harry Potter as Cedric Digory. And Jamie Campbell Bower is a fine actor and he was great as Caius but as Jace in the Immortal Instruments way wrong choice. People still despise Kristen Stewart for "ruining" Bella (I loved her) and there are many other examples of casting flubs, but what if they got it right? Wait- I already covered that. Back to the con side. The special effects could be as hokey (gasp-or worse) as Twilight's and the music might end up full of bubble gum pop Bieber craptastic songs that would make me hang my head in shame. The ads and posters might turn out so horrendous that no one even bothers to show up which would be the worst out come of all.
     OMG! The stress of just thinking about all of the possibilities is enough to put me into the fetal position  sucking my thumb while calling for my mommy. Okay okay, would I love to see my novel turned into a movie or television show? YES!!!! But only if I knew it would turn out right, I couldn't hand my baby over to some butcher just to see it transformed into some Frankenstein's monster. I didn't spend a tremendous amount of time and energy turning random thoughts into a 88,000+ word novel for nothing, it's mine and I will protect it and all other works like they are my children by doing what's right for all involved. In the mean time, I will just have to sit here and be jealous of the Veronica Roth's of the world because her amazeballs book made a beautiful movie. I think I might hate her. Just a little bit.

Monday, March 24, 2014

My twisty writing process.

I've learned every writer has their own process, from start to finish, plot bunnies to final revisions we each go about it a little different. I was invited to share my innermost thoughts and practices of my personal journey.

Q: What am I working on?
Currently I am writing the sequel to my YA Paranormal novel, Illuminated. Continuing Jillian's story in Enlightened has been like returning to my home town to see all of my closest friends. I haven't seen them since last summer and the visit is way past due. Readers have contacted me repeatedly wanting to find out what Jillian is planning for her sister, Heather, so I guess its about time I give them what they want.

I am also working on a completely new as of yet untitled Paranormal novel. This story centers around the lovely Grayson Goodman, who is learning to cope with the aftermath of  her best friend's murder. She meets Bael, the sexy, mysterious man she never knew she wanted who may just be more than he seems. I am loving the freedom to write Grayson's and Bael's love scenes without having to worry about keeping it PG, they can be as naughty as I want.

Q: How does my work differ from others of its genre?
When it comes to YA Paranormal its pretty much been done already which makes it difficult to stand out. I spent a lot of time devouring every YA-P I could get my grubby little hands on so I would know what has been done. I found that there was a formula. Girl who is either orphaned or moves (or both) gains instant popularity and although she has never had a boyfriend she now finds herself in a love triangle, torn between two flawless guys. She is then faced with a very unrealistic supernatural obstacle that she overcomes with ease. And the same supes fill the pages- Vamps, shifters, witches, fae, etc.

I decided to break the mold a bit in Illuminated. Jillian is practically invisible but does find a love interest and a friend or two. No triangles. She does face an obstacle but it is one that any one of us could find ourselves facing. And I decided to sort of create my own brand of supes, a Vessel, a Mimic, an Elemental, and many more.

Q: Why do I write what I do?
Simply put, I adore Paranormal Romance. When I was little I wanted to be a vampire, a mermaid, a centaur, a fairy, and a witch. My favorite movie to this day is Labyrinth (Jareth the Goblin King is HOT!) and all the books I read had some otherworldly elements. When I am watching a movie or a television show or reading a book I love losing myself in another world and even more so the world I've created. Sharing my creation with others is scary and exciting and wonderful and many other nerve-wracking emotions but they are all worth it when someone enjoys my book.

Q: How does my writing process work?
Well, here's the twisty part- not only am I a "pantser" but I sort of write backwards. How can someone write backwards? Confusing right? Told you I'm weird.

So here's the deal. If you've ever had to write a paper in school and the teacher made you write an outline, a rough draft, then a first draft, and at long last the final copy and you were successful good for you. I wrote the final copy first, then made up the other drafts and outline afterwards. I also do not plot, I just fly by the seat of my pants, hence "pantser"... I literally sit down and wait for the story to flow which can be good and bad. When the groove hits I write like a fiend, other times I sit and stare at the screen until I get frustrated and end up surfing.

When I was writing Illuminated there were periods of time, some lasting months, where I wouldn't even pull up the file because my process and I didn't quite see eye to eye. I would get so jealous seeing all my author friends posting status updates "just typed 'THE END'" or "big word day! hit 5000!" and there I sat, blank page full of nothing. But I didn't give up.

Q: Who will we meet next week?
The first author I've invited is the lovely A'ndrea J. Wilson, an award-winning author of the Wife 101 Series (Wife 101, Husband 101, Couples 101, and the upcoming Singles 101). She also writes thrillers under the pseudonym Janell. Please join her at her at

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

This is only a test...

So what am I doing here and why am I blogging? Honestly? This is sort of an experiment.
It all started back in April 2009 when I was bored one day at work and I started banging away at the keyboard and a voice started talking to me. She was sweet and wanted her side of things out there and felt like she'd always been misunderstood so a little bit each day this girl, Jillian, told me more about herself until I had a few pages, then a few chapters. I'd never finished a short story let alone a book so I had no intention of Jillian's tale turning into anything viable. Then one day I realized I was nearly done and I sat there stunned. I was writing a novel. A real honest to God novel. I started researching writers groups, conferences and conventions in my area, and even sent a few friend requests to authors on facebook.
Somewhere along the way I found a few people interested in being beta readers for me, though at the time I had no idea that's what they were called, and with their suggestions my little story, Jillian's story, got better with each revision. By the end of May 2011, after multiple breaks, some lasting as long as six months, doubt, writer's block, losing my plot bunnies, and even thinking I deleted the entire thing, I finished Illuminated, the first book in Jillian's series just in time for my first convention in Cincinnati, Ohio.
To say I was star struck was an understatement. I won't be an obnoxious name dropper or braggart but I will encourage you to go the Reader and Author Get Together next June. I managed to convince an agent to accept a submission from me although she very politely rejected me as a client, maybe one day she'll regret that decision. I also met a very shy man who would later, a year and a half later to be precise, give me a very swift kick in the right direction towards his publisher. His comment of "don't make me look stupid" was exactly what I needed to complete the final revision before submitting Illuminated to SCP where I was offered a publishing contract.
That was February 2013. Fast forward to today March 12, 2014, I've been published for seven months and three days and it still feels so surreal. My family and friends have been super supportive, encouraged me, been amazing in general. This year has been a whirlwind. On top of finishing the books final revisions, submitting it, getting a publishing contract, convention in June, meeting more amazing people, I started a new job as well (love it), started a direct sales business, lost nearly fifty pounds, started a second book series, and got accepted into a Bachelors program (but decided to put it off for a bit).
So now begins (or should I say continues) the journey of attempting to gain publicity and marketing my book while I wait for sales reports from my publisher and stalking the websites to see my sales rankings so I know where I compare from day to day. I had no intention of becoming a blogger but I've been told numerous times I should give it a shot so here I am, and now you know why. I'm not perfect, I don't plan on spending the same amount of time editing and revising this as I do my books so if you find a typo or a grammatical error that I missed I really don't need it pointed out, but if you feel the need to tell me, please do so respectfully because I'm pretty sure most of these posts will be late at night when I'm tired or on my lunch break.
I'm sure my twisty brain will make some of you ponder my sanity but I assure you, I've been tested and you need not fear, the voices are just the characters telling me pieces of their stories.

Monday, March 10, 2014

I'm sitting here trying to get tired enough to go to bed, watching the minutes tick closer to midnight knowing I have to be up at 6:15. Tomorrow is not going to be much fun. So what do I do? I decide now is the perfect time to start a blog. That is the way my twisty brain works. Not only am I feeling the pressure of, what's the word for not being able to sleep? Oh yeah, insomnia. Not only am I feeling pressure of insomnia taunting me when I have to be up early but I add get the bright idea to make my ADD riddled noggin ponder what my very first post will be.

Will it be funny? Prophetic? Interesting? Nah, it's just the crazy ramblings of an author who should be in bed and has had one too many cups of herbal tea tonight. I promise the next will be better. Well-maybe not-I could be setting myself up for failure making you a promise like that. Yeah, it's time for bed.